Category Archives: Accidents

Holiday Accidents: Where, When, and Who

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), dangerous crashes predominantly occur on weekends. Still, some of the most dangerous drinking holidays across the United States include Thanksgiving Day and Memorial Day. They account for about 33% of alcohol-related fatalities, compared to 25% on other days.


In 2018, 29% of all traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher across the United States. While on Thanksgiving Day, one of the most dangerous drinking holidays, about 35% of all crashes included a drunk driver between 2011 and 2015. A survey using NHTSA data reveals the following motor vehicle deaths:
Independence Day – 397
Memorial Day – 389
Thanksgiving – 439
Labor Day – 379
Christmas – 318
New Year’s Day – 279


Why Do Crashes Spike During the Holidays?
As the holidays approach, there is a celebratory spirit in the air as people run errands and shop for gifts. There are more cars on the road, and increased traffic can lead to more accidents. The weather also contributes to accidents during the winter holidays, especially when it is snowy, foggy, or rainy.
Unfortunately, many drivers also engage in holiday drinking at this time. This can result in more crashes and alcohol-fueled fatalities on the road.


Most Dangerous Cities and States Across the United States Over the Holidays
Listed below are states and cities where most fatal crashes occur annually:
STATES
⦁ Texas – 3642
⦁ California – 3563
⦁ Florida – 3133
⦁ Georgia – 1504
⦁ North Carolina – 1437
⦁ Pennsylvania – 1190
⦁ Ohio – 1068
⦁ Tennessee – 1041
⦁ South Carolina – 1037
⦁ Illinois – 1031
CITIES
⦁ Los Angeles – 628
⦁ Phoenix – 466
⦁ Houston – 366
⦁ Chicago – 245
⦁ Las Vegas – 206
⦁ Detroit – 153
⦁ Kansas City – 133
⦁ Jacksonville – 131
⦁ Atlanta – 119
⦁ Charlotte – 106


How to Make the Roads Safer During the Holidays
Making roads safer requires taking precautionary measures like:
⦁ Engaging in responsible holiday drinking and using a designated driver
⦁ Relying on an alternative form of transportation in bad weather (i.e. taking a taxi or bus).
⦁ Avoiding alcoholic drinks if a designated driver can’t be found
⦁ Taking breaks along the way to reduce stress and fatigue
⦁ Carrying enough snacks on the road trip to suppress the urge to buy alcohol
⦁ Getting enough rest before a road trip
⦁ Ensuring that the car is in good condition before embarking on a road trip
⦁ Traveling during off-peak times
⦁ Starting early to avoid the holiday rush


Safety During Drinking Holidays
Traveling by car is the most popular, convenient, and affordable mode of transportation for many Americans. Thus, a surge in traffic is inevitable during the holidays. The increased impaired driving-related crashes during the holidays are more than likely due to more people being on the road and people attending holiday events or parties where alcohol is being served.
However, remember that no amount of alcohol is safe when it comes to drinking and driving.
At Draeger Interlock, we are committed to making the roads safer by providing reliable ignition interlock devices. For more safe driving and responsible drinking tips, click here to access our blog.

hazards

When Car Accidents Are Caused by Road Hazards

Motor vehicle accidents are often caused by a driver’s poor decisions, behaviors or actions. At other times, car wrecks are caused by defective parts or other issues outside of drivers’ control. Sometimes, the very roads constructed to keep drivers safe can cause accidents.

Disintegration of roads and bridges, broken pieces of cement or road materials, traffic cones, signage and issues of road construction can cause dangerous road conditions leading to accidents.

How Roads Deteriorate

State and local roads require funding for construction, maintenance and repair. Gaining funding for these projects takes a very long time, as does completion of the projects once funding is approved. Government funding keeps bridges in good shape, roads free of potholes and disintegration of roadways from occurring. Even slightly damaged roads can cause major accidents involving multiple vehicles, leading to injuries and even causing death. When funding for road safety is not available, the roads we use every day can become more dangerous than the drivers using them.

Today’s road construction quality helps roads to last about 20 years before a major reconstruction effort must be undertaken. Regular maintenance is extremely important throughout these two decades of a road’s lifetime, with routine maintenance not being effective after the road’s lifetime has passed. This is because at the end of the 20 years, underlying issues are too great to be fixed by resurfacing or filling of cracks and potholes. Neglect of aging roads is a problem when funds are not available for reconstruction.

Dangers Associated with Infrastructure

Bridges have gained a lot of press exposure in recent years, as American bridges and infrastructure as a whole are aging. Aging bridges pose great danger, even when they appear to the naked eye to be sound. Bridges become less structurally sound over time and eventually start to fall apart. They must be repaired or even reconstructed to ensure the public and all vehicles crossing over or under them are safe.

Driver behaviors and hazards from vehicles always pose danger to other cars on roads today. But when freeways or other highways are allowed to fall into disrepair, hazards are greater and can result in even more catastrophic accidents. Potholes, narrowing shoulders, crumbling sides of the road, uneven lanes and cracking surfaces can cause vehicles to lose control, leading to a serious accident causing injuries or death.

Road Construction Dangers

Road construction is a terribly hazardous situation for both drivers and workers completing construction on the road. Many collisions occur in road construction areas, as drivers try to swerve away from workers in the road, maneuver changing circumstances of the road, handle their vehicle in more constrictive space or otherwise drive where construction is underway. All of the distractions of road construction being completed on an open road often cause drivers to make drastic mistakes, too.

 

Paving materials used for repair or construction of a road can cause problems for drivers trying to see where they are going. Temporary signage may be placed improperly or incorrect in information provided to drivers. Lane closures slow and confuse drivers and often cause accidents. Speed limit decreases for construction safety are often disregarded or cause aggressive drivers to become more dangerous. Construction vehicles cause traffic congestion, block roadways and may throw debris onto cars behind them, causing cracked windshields and even accidents.

When road construction is being completed, it is critical that all drivers navigating the hazardous area are alert and obey all warning signs. Of course, the nature of these areas and changes to once-familiar roads creates the perfect circumstances for accidents.

Indicators of Road Hazards

When roads are in disrepair, it is important to be aware of these hazards and how they can cause accidents. By simply paying attention to the surfaces driven upon and environments around roads, drivers can avoid many accidents.

Some common indicators of road disrepair include potholes, faded striping, faded areas of pavement, cracks across the road, uneven surfaces, or loose gravel. Drivers should be particularly alert when their vehicle jostles about when changing lanes or driving on particular stretches of the road. Guard rails can become hazards when a vehicle has hit them and peeled them out of place, protruding into a lane or no longer providing protection at the side of the road. Damaged signs, covered signs or missing signage can be indicators of general disrepair of roads and the need to be particularly cautious for other road hazards.

When Road Conditions Cause Accidents

Government and private businesses often hold liability when road conditions cause auto accidents. This is because they are responsible for designing, building, maintaining and reconstructing safe roads. When accidents are caused due to poor road conditions, the government and business representatives may be held liable for compensation.

Federal, state and local governments often specify obligations and responsibilities of those tasked with maintaining safe roadways.

When you or someone you love have been injured in an accident or suffered property damage caused by issues with a road, bridge or other infrastructure, government or private businesses may be responsible. An experienced auto accident attorney can help determine where responsibility may exist and whether negligence was the cause of the auto accident. It is possible to gain compensation for injuries and damages resulting from car accidents caused by dangerous road conditions.

auto accident claims

Involvement of Multiple Vehicles Affects Auto Accident Claims

There are hundreds of accidents involving multiple vehicles in the United States each day. It only takes fractions of a second to cause major property damage and injury. There are a multitude of factors that may cause these accidents and affect liability.

Common Causes of Multiple Vehicle Car Accidents

While auto accidents can be caused by a wide variety of issues, weather and road conditions are frequently at the root of an accident that involves multiple vehicles. Speeding, failure to yield and aggressive driving are also causes of multi-vehicle wrecks. Impaired drivers certainly contribute to multiple vehicle auto accident statistics, as these drivers are a hazard to anyone sharing the road with them.

Processing Claims for Multi-Vehicle Accidents

When multiple vehicles are involved in an auto accident, the claim is handled differently than it is for a two-car collision. This makes the process slightly more difficult and certain steps must be followed to ensure claims are viable and properly finalized. Delays, non-payment and other hassles can be caused by improper filing or handling of claims for multiple vehicle auto accidents.

Determination of Fault in Multiple Vehicle Accidents

When several vehicles have been involved in an auto accident, extensive fact checking is needed for the claim to be developed. Close investigation is necessary for any auto accident, but particularly so in these cases. For multi-vehicle collisions, several legal representatives, insurance adjusters and other investigators will be working at the same time to determine what caused the accident and who holds liability. When three or more vehicles are involved in a rear-end collision, the final vehicle to collide may not be considered to carry any fault. Chain reaction collisions often require close examination to determine who is liable. Rules for these accidents vary from state to state and even among jurisdictions within individual states.

Property damage from the accident may be inspected by insurance adjusters, accident investigators and others. Witnesses will be questioned and support for accident re-creation is gathered. Responsibility may be determined after examining the vehicle types, damage acquired, injuries sustained and other supporting facts. The party at fault may be easily determined. But it is important to ensure that experienced investigators examined the accident fully.

When driving, every motorist has a responsibility to drive sensibly and carefully. When this duty of care is not properly performed, a negligence claim may be developed against that driver. If injuries result to another motorist, that motorist is legally able to pursue reimbursement for expenses from the driver found to be at fault.

For multiple vehicle accidents, it can become more difficult to clarify and establish negligence. There are many questions which must be answered, details to be discovered and complex situations to work out to determine liability.

Inspectors Contracted for Multiple Vehicle Accidents

Contracted agents may be used to inspect multi-car accidents by reviewing police reports, interviewing officers and pursuing other information that will help determine liability in the accident. This agent may determine that the accident was caused by the actions of a negligent driver. That driver may have acted using poor judgment that led to the damage to multiple vehicles. The driver can be held responsible for damages.

When acts of drinking or drug use are found by the case inspector to be the cause of accident injuries or damages, this information can be used to establish fault in a legal claim. Other acts of negligence include reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding, following vehicles too closely or not observing traffic signs or signals. Weather, road conditions and other factors may have contributed to the wreck.

Contracted inspectors may analyze photos of the scene, review closed circuit video from area businesses, interview passengers and gain other information to help in their case.

When Contributory Negligence Occurs

Contributory negligence may play a role in claims involving multiple vehicles. Every state handles these claims in their own manner. Contributory negligence involves the contribution by the victim to their own injuries. For example, one driver may have caused an accident, but the injured victim’s speed or non-use of safety belts as required by law contributed to the magnitude of their injuries. When contributory negligence is applied, the percentage of damages awarded to the victim may have their own responsibility factored into the amount.

Compensation for Multiple Vehicle Accident Claims

State laws vary for multiple vehicle accident claims. Medical costs and vehicle repairs are covered by insurance. Filing of claims involves several important steps against multiple parties, with those filings varying according to insurance carrier. If fault is not determined in a multi-vehicle accident, a lawyer with car accident experience and his or her associated investigation team can help resolve the liability issue. There may be multiple parties at fault and such cases can become quite confusing. Personal injury lawyers often work with insurance providers to ensure proper handling of claims for correct disbursement of compensation.

deadly crashes

Despite Innovations, Deadly Crashes Continue to Rise

When you and your loved ones get into your vehicle, you can relax in knowing that safety feature improvements have made a huge difference in saving lives on American roadways in the past 20 years.

Innovations Designed to Prevent Deadly Crashes

Most people think of seat belts as the most remarkable safety innovation in automobiles for prevention of deadly crashes. But following safety belts came airbags, durable occupant safety cages, roll bars and crumple zones. These each provided great strength to vehicles and enhanced survivability for passengers during accidents. Automakers of today are looking at new ways to make driving even safer. So the next years should be exciting, when watching what carmakers come up with for greater survivability in new auto models.
Five of the most noteworthy car safety systems of recent years include:

  • Ford Blind Spot Info System with Cross-Traffic Alert
    This Ford-designed system employs two radar beam modules for blind spot awareness and other vehicle detection. These radars help drivers avoid deadly crashes often caused when changing lanes or encroaching upon unseen vehicles in the blind spots of the car being driven. Drivers are alerted of risk through an indicator light so they can correct their actions to prevent accident.
  • Volvo City Safety
    Volvo’s system innovation prevents deadly crashes using automatic braking. Although this is a low-speed device that stops the vehicle when it is only traveling at city speeds of two to 19 miles per hour, such as in parking lots or urban roadways, this braking system can prevent pedestrian, bicyclist and other fatalities.
  • Collision Mitigation by Honda
    Honda’s grille housed sensor monitors distance of traffic ahead and the driven vehicle’s own speed. By doing this, it is able to alert risk of crash with vehicles in the distance. The system flashes a warning light, tugs at the driver’s seat belt and even starts braking on its own to reduce the risk of deadly crashes.
  • Lane Assist by Audi
    An audible signal alerts drivers of new Audis to make them aware that they are swerving out of their own lane. This system does not stop the car or otherwise intervene. But it does cause the steering wheel to vibrate to ensure the driver is immediately aware of vehicle path changes, while corrections can still be made to prevent deadly crashes. This innovation is extremely useful for drowsy drivers who can be awakened by the steering wheel vibrations.
  • Mercedes Night View Assist PLUS
    Mercedes-Benz technology alerts drivers that animals or pedestrians are in or too near the roadway ahead, using forward facing infrared cameras. While the driver is alerted through high resolution displays on the instrument panel, the people or animals are also alerted through automated light flashing from the vehicle’s headlights.

Each of these innovations increase safety to prevent deadly auto accidents. But driver error, negative behaviors and distracted driving are still problems despite technological improvements.

Despite Automotive Innovations, Deadly Crashes Are Rising

2015 brought continuing increases in the number of motor vehicle deaths, despite changes to automotive technology. The National Safety Council had already noted a 14 percent increase in deadly crashes for the first six months of that year. That was over 18,000 fatalities with 30 percent more non-fatal injuries also occurring than in 2014.

A well-known Phoenix car accident attorney, voiced his concern over this trend. He said, “It is devastating to see that drivers continue to increasingly contribute to deadly crashes, despite so many safety innovations by automakers and awareness campaigns urging drivers to be more aware and safer when behind the wheel.”

The National Safety Council attributes the increase in fatalities to higher numbers of people on the road. Those increases in auto travel can be credited to lower gas prices and economic improvements, two factors enabling people to drive for leisure more often and for longer distances.

The attorney also said, “The auto industry has been struggling to overcome recalls and negative reports regarding vehicle safety. Safety features continue to advance in many ways, but deadly crashes are still a major problem in our society.”

Government officials are working to influence automakers to make many luxury safety innovations, such as automatic braking and features seen on brands such as Volvo, Audi and Mercedes, standard for less expensive brands and models. Safety should not be limited to those who can afford luxury.

Safety Innovations are No Match for Human Negligence

Despite safety innovations, one of the biggest problems causing deadly crashes is human error. Such error is often in the form of negative driving behaviors, also known as negligence. Surveys indicate 75 percent of drivers still use their cell phone while driving, despite knowing this activity behind the wheel is very deadly. 60 percent of drivers admit texting while driving.
 

springtime driving

Springtime Driving

Springtime is one of the best times to get out, enjoy the weather, and watch winter disappear right before your eyes. Whether you’re eager to take a long road trip or just want getaway for a quick weekend, it’s important to make sure that you and your car are prepared for springtime driving. While winter driving can be particularly hazardous and stressful for millions of Americans, the spring season is not free from dangerous situations on the road. Before you hit the road this spring, make sure you’re ready for whatever heads your way:

Springtime Car Maintenance

 

The weather and road conditions during the winter months can really do a number on your vehicle. Just as you would before winter arrives, make sure that your car is in good working condition when warmer weather arrives. First off, give your car thorough cleaning. Wash and wax the exterior (which can help keep tree pollen off of your car) and clean all the dirt and grime of the winter months from your interior. Next, check the air in your tires, have them rotated if needed, and have your trusted mechanic do a complete check (looking at fluids, changing oil, checking brakes, etc.).  Don’t forget to replace your windshield wipers and make sure the windshield cleaner reservoir is topped off, you never know when a spring rain will arrive, requiring a good pair of wipers.

Check the Weather

 

Spring is a much anticipated season, but it’s always filled with surprises. You can have a sunny and cloud-free sky in the morning and a rain/snow mix in the afternoon and often without warning. While snow is one of the biggest hassles for drivers, rain can be just as dangerous and stressful. Before you head out for the day, weekend or for your road trip, make sure you’ve taken a look at the forecast so you know what to expect. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to download a weather app to your phone so you can get up-to-date weather reports as your travel. Rain, fog, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes can suddenly occur during the springtime, it’s always good to stay informed, especially when traveling.

Share the Road

 

When the weather warms up, you can expect to see an increased amount motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on or around the roadways. Make sure you are on the lookout for harder to spot motorists (like motorcyclists or bicyclists). Remember, they have the right to share the road with other vehicles, but they are less likely to be seen.

 

Continue to Drive Responsibly

 

Drivers should be responsible year round, but after a long winter, many drivers become a little more relaxed. First, keep appropriate distance and drive reasonable speeds when it’s raining or if there is fog (it can be just as dangerous as winter weather). Secondly, keep your distractions at a minimal. You may be tempted to crank the tunes and snap a picture on your smartphone, but your focus is needed on the road at all times, particularly when motorists, pedestrians, and even animals are more likely to be on the road. Finally, warmer weather marks the season of the backyard party and BBQs. Don’t forget to driver responsibly and know when to hand over the keys if you’ve been drinking alcohol.